Update from our Binks Neate-Evans: Friday 3rd July
It has been lovely to see the different children and activities that are going on in schools as we try to increase contact. Thank you for all the encouragement and feedback.
Many of you may be aware that yesterday the government published its guidance and expectations for ALL children to return to school in September. This guidance is complex and we are still very much at the stage of processing the content of it to put into practical plans and information for you, so this is just a short update. We are delighted that we are able to fully open schools and hope this signals more stable times for you and your family. This being said, we recognise that there are huge challenges around employment and job losses and the very significant stress this places on some of you. If you are in real hardship please contact your school.
You may have also heard, the very strong steer from Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Education), about the use of penalty fines for those not attending unless there are very exceptional circumstances. I would prefer to use more constructive approaches to understand barriers and worries so we can pre-empt them prior to September, as far as is possible in the current situation. I want to reassure families that we want to work with you in a less adversarial manner, continuing to build your trust in school provision and systems so that you feel able to send your child back to school. In may be helpful for you to consider schools as controlled environments. So, I would ask any adult who feels very anxious about September or thinks their child may be a genuinely reluctant returner to make contact with your school so we can help you manage this before September. Please don’t wait until then to talk to us. You do not need to wait until more formal plans are published.
In the days, weeks (and nights) ahead, I am working with school leaders and the teams in school to plan the full re-opening of our three lovely schools. We are very excited to be able to do this and have not taken our eye of the ball with school development plans either. We have robust support from the Health and Safety team at EAT who help us manage the complex process. Lynsey Holzer (CEO of Evolution Academy Trust) will be writing to you all on Monday to give the trust perspective on the re-opening and some general indicators of what this may look like.
I hope you all manage to safely enjoy some of the increased flexibility that is afforded us from this weekend – be cautious and take good care of those lovely young people. We want to keep things safe so we can look to a more positive time.